Police-reported cybercrime in Canada, 2012: highlights

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  • In 2012, 9,084 incidents of cybercrime were reported by select police services policing 80% of the population of Canada. This represented a rate of 33 cybercrime incidents per 100,000 population.
  • The most common type of cybercrime was fraud, accounting for more than half (54%) of all police-reported cybercrimes in 2012. Intimidation violations, composed of violations involving the threat of violence, accounted for 20% of police-reported cybercrimes in 2012, while 16% of cybercrimes involved a sexual cyber-related violation.
  • In 2012, an accused was identified by police in a relatively small proportion (6%) of cybercrimes against property, notably for incidents of fraud (5%) and identity theft (3%).
  • An accused was identified by police in connection with 31% of sexual cyber-related violations and 55% of cybercrimes related to intimidation violations. Compared to intimidation violations, sexual violations were more frequently cleared by the laying of a charge (25% versus 18%).
  • The majority (76%) of accused identified by police in 2012 were men. For cyber-related violations of a sexual nature, males accounted for 94% of accused.
  • Accused identified by police in connection with intimidation violations tended to young, with more than one-quarter (28%) under the age of 18, whereas those accused of cybercrimes of a sexual nature tended to be somewhat older, as the largest proportion (22%) of accused of sexual cybercrimes were aged 25 to 34.
  • In 2012, police identified 2,070 victims of violent incidents involving a cybercrime. Females accounted for the majority of victims of violent incidents associated with a cybercrime (69%), particularly when incidents involved a sexual violation (84%).
  • Overall, 42% of victims of police-reported cybercrime were under the age of 18. In 2012, almost all (96%) victims of sexual violations associated with a cybercrime were under 18 years of age, including 10% of victims under the age of 12.
  • Most victims (73%) of violent incidents associated with a cybercrime knew the accused. Victims of sexual violations involving a cybercrime were less likely to know the accused (57%) relative to victims of non-sexual violent violations (77%).
  • According to results from the 2009 General Social Survey on Victimization, approximately 1.75 million Canadians aged 15 and over reported that they had been cyber-bullied. This represented 8% of Internet users aged 15 and over. Less than one in ten (7%) victims of cyber-bullying reported the incident to police.
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